April 24, 2012
replenish (verb)
\rih-PLEN-ish\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to make full or complete
How do you use it?
"Perhaps before long one or two could be chosen to go back to the store by the river and replenish our supplies. But in the meanwhile everyone ought to be well inside the tunnel by night." (J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit)
Are you a word wiz?

"Replenish" traces back to the Latin word "plenus," meaning "full." Which of the following words do you think also comes from "plenus"?

There are plenty of reasons to guess that "plenty" comes from "plenus": the words share the same first four letters, and in some contexts, like in the phrase "plenty of time," "plenty" means "a full supply." The connection between "plenus" and "replenish" is also clear, since "replenish" means "to make full or complete." A "plenus" word that is not so obvious, though, is the adverb "plain," as in "it's plain confusing." This word, a synonym of "totally" and "absolutely," is the youngest of this trio. It dates to the 1500s, while "replenish" has been used since the 1300s and "plenty" since the 1200s.
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